We tow our 2006 Keystone Cambridge fifth wheel with a 2005 Ford F450 Super Duty truck with dual rear wheels. At the time of our purchase in early 2005, that truck was sold only as a cab and chassis, so we had the dealer add an aftermarket pick-up bed.
Well, in 2006, a few days after our one-year anniversary as full-time RVers, I made a stupid mistake and dropped our fifth wheel on the rails of the truck. I won't get into the details here, but you can read about it at the link below if you are so inclined.Disaster Averted (Mostly) - More Lessons Learned
The bed rails were severely damaged and pushed apart and there was other damage to the truck bed. We had the rails repaired, but the underlying damage was permanent. As the years went by, things got worse. The bed rails continued to separate causing problems getting the tailgate closed, and a crack in the bed itself started to widen.
Something had to be done, short of buying another truck. We considered having Utility Bodywerks in Elkhart, Indiana replace our pick-up bed with one they had in stock.
However, Linda had been eyeing "hauler beds" for sometime, and since the specialty of Utility Bodywerks is custom aluminum RV hauler beds, we delved into pursuing that option.
So, in the Fall of 2014, we worked with Tom Underwood, owner of Utility Bodywerks, and put on one of his Elite hauler beds. And we LOVE it!
I had two concerns about the hauler bed. First, it just looked like we were going to lose storage space, and that's not a good thing for a full-time RVer. Second, we had always had a truck bed cover, so everything stored in the bed was out of sight and somewhat secured plus our hitch was protected from the weather.
Regarding the storage, Tom kept telling us that we would have more storage than with the pick-up bed, but I was skeptical. As it turned out, we do indeed have more storage.
We have a total of seven lockable, lighted compartments, including pass-through storage across the width of the bed behind the cab. We've been able to shift several items from the fifth wheel to the truck, making the RV a bit lighter.
Now everything is so much easier to access and it is much more organized. Plus it is all secured. The compartments are not guaranteed as "waterproof", but our compartments have been waterproof so far.
Of course our fifth wheel hitch is now exposed when we are parked, but I purchased this universal hitch cover to help with that issue.
Hauler Bed Benefits
Check out our new video below!
Utility Bodywerks Elite Hauler Bed Features
We also got these optional features:
Keep in mind that Utility Bodywerks (866-770-8785) can customize a hauler bed to meet all your needs. Toolboxes, auxiliary fuel tanks, and special requests can be accommodated.
Also, you can purchase a cab & chassis from Ford, Dodge, GM/Chevy, or Freightliner and have it drop-shipped to Utility Bodywerks. Buying a cab & chassis can save quite a bit of money up front. And having it drop-shipped saves on time and the expense of getting it to Utility Bodywerks.
Coupon For RV-Dreams Readers
Utility Bodywerks has graciously agreed to offer RV-Dreams Readers a discount with the coupon below. Just click on the coupon, print it out, and present it at the time of your order.